The team from Aviation High School in Des Moines, Washington won the Creativity Award in the FIRST Championship, a robotics competition hosted in St. Louis, Missouri April 27-30. The international event challenges teams of high school students to build a robot during a six-week period using the core principles of engineering and mathematics.
For the third year, the Aviation High School team was sponsored by waterjet builder Omax (Kent, Washington). Kevin Hay, Omax’s lead electrical engineer, supervised the team as members used the Maxiem 1530 and Omax 2652 waterjets to cut parts for their robot at the company’s headquarters. Omax says it plans to maintain its sponsorship of the team in the future. “Many of these kids will go on to have fruitful careers in an engineering-related field, and it feels good to have been a small part of that,” Mr. Hay says.
The competition’s finalists—consisting of 8,600 students from 11 countries—were selected from more than 42,000 contestants who had already competed at regional-level events around the world. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.